On a + note

Who is the grumpiest generation? #46: 2012

Posted in on a + note by Admin on January 2, 2012

A recent workplace study by several Canadian universities talked to more than 3,000 individuals about how they view their work life and future. They found some distinctive generational characteristics, which although not definitive, are at least interesting. I quickly add that not every Baby Boomer embraces change and not all GenY folks are fun seekers. However, the study does provide a unique window into the psyche of employees and how they view employment. In talking about the study, Professor Lyons of the University of Guelph said, “The theory of generations says you have dominant and recessive generations, and they tend to alternate. GenXers are definitely a recessive generation caught between two much more dominant, louder, impactful generations.” I found this fascinating. The study went on to draw some generalizations about each generation.  For example: 

Generation Birth date

Current age

Matures Before 1945


Leaving a legacy is important.  They still closely identify with their career and its progress.
Boomers 1946-1964


Even as they approach the end of their work life/career, they are still achievement driven and embrace change as a positive good.
GenXers 1965-1979


Report the lowest job satisfaction and perhaps are the grumpiest! Heading the list complaints were low pay, lack of career advancement, and insufficient training. On the positive side, they embrace technology and see it as a good thing.
Millennials or Gen Y 1980-


Are most prone to rating fun, social interaction, job promotion, and recognition as important to them.

However, all four generations agreed on what was important to them in their work life: salary, benefits, job security, work achievement, a supportive supervisor or boss, having the right information to do the job, and last but not least, having interesting, challenging work to do.

 P.S.  To all my friends and co-workers who are 40-something: my apologies. You aren’t that grumpy! 

 Kitty Pope                                                                                          #47 January 2012    kpope@library.guelph.on.ca


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